L.A. Hair’s Gocha Hawkins Continues To Grow Her Brand, Twenty Plus Years Later
The beauty industry happens to be one of the most competitive, cutthroat industries out there. It’s an industry that not many can master, but, for beauty boss Gocha Hawkins, she made mastering it all seem quite effortless.
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Gocha Hawkins is a renowned hairstylist with over twenty-five years in the game. Starting out as a way to make quick and easy money, Hawkins began attending hair school in her early years. However, what started out as just a profit, soon turned into a passion. She received her cosmetology license, immediately pursuing a full-blown career in the hair business. From there, Hawkins put her skills to use, building her empire, one step at a time.
She then opened her first salon, in Alabama—which served as a stepping stone for her to get her name out there. Known for her signature cute and chic haircuts, her salon flourished throughout the community. It was only the beginning. After gaining notoriety and growing her clientele, Hawkins proceeded to open another salon.
In 2010, she relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to build the Gocha Hawkins brand, even more. Working her way through the Atlanta scene, it wasn’t long before her name began to ring bells in ‘Hotlanta’. A year after arriving, she opened her current salon, Gocha Salon—specializing in everything from extensions to makeup.
While the Gocha Salon continues to be very successful, the Detroit native has plenty of other accolades, as well. Hawkins has worked with some of the most important people in Hollywood right now, such as Vivica A. Fox, Beyoncé, R. Kelly, and a plethora of other big names. She has also done image consulting for over a decade, for the NBA.
With a background as an educator, owner of her own hair product line, Wrecklez, along with her own makeup product, Gocha Glow, Gocha Hawkins has crowned herself the ‘Queen of Beauty’.
Recently, her first book, Gocha’s Blueprint to Business 101: 7 Quick Tips To Being A Boss, was released. The book gives a complete breakdown of what it means to run a business and how you can succeed at it. Hawkins’ main goal is to educate and inspire those who aspire.
Gocha Hawkins can currently be seen on season five of the hit WE Tv show, L.A. Hair.
Check out our interview with the Queen of Beauty, as we discuss how she has managed to successfully brand herself and her business, the release of her self-published book, and her second season of being a part of the L.A. Hair cast.
Parlé Mag: That’s interesting! So, tell us a little bit about how you got your start in the hair industry.
Gocha Hawkins: Well, I actually had a setback. That was about eighteen years old. I got into a little trouble and, once I got in that trouble—you know, trying to get out of it, I was getting my hair done by this young lady, and she was making a lot of money. So, I was like, ‘I need to go to hair school!’. I ended up going to hair school and it was a young lady, who was in my class, and she was—I guess, my guardian angel, because she got out of hair school and pursued being a paralegal. But, in hair school, she showed me everything about weave. And, so, we became really good friends. I got out of school and got into the salon. The same girl, she started calling me, asking me ‘How you do this?’, ‘How you do that?’. I was like, ‘wow!’ So, I ended up developing a passion for it. I guess that little trouble, that I go into, kind of set the tone for me doing hair.
Parlé Mag: Right!
Gocha Hawkins: ‘Cause I was making fast money and, shoot, I was trying to find the next option of making fast money; it was doing hair. I didn’t know that I was going to develop a passion for it, and I was going to be twenty-five years later, owning several salons, writing a book, and all this. Just from doing hair. So, it’s been great. Twenty-five years! It’s been great twenty-five years.
Parlé Mag: Season five of L.A. Hair just recently premiered. How can we expect to see you and Kim’s relationship evolve over the season?
Gocha Hawkins: [laughs] That’s a good question; I can’t even answer that for you.
Parlé Mag: Thinking back to your early years in the beauty business, did you ever see yourself doing reality TV?
Gocha Hawkins: No, not at all. It’s weird because all my friends, they’ve seen it. But, I’ve never seen it. They always felt like I was made for TV. I just never saw it.
Parlé Mag: So, being that you do have over twenty-five years of experience in this business, and it’s so competitive, what would you say is the key to building a successful brand?
Gocha Hawkins: One is, being consistent! Being persistent, and producing quality work.
Parlé Mag: As a salon owner, what advice could you give other stylists, seeking to open their own salon?
Gocha Hawkins: Well, those three key things that I just said. Come up with a business plan. Make sure they have great customer service. Make sure that they are investing in themselves and in their career, and to always be true to themselves. Don’t try to follow behind other people!
Parlé Mag: That is so true! Also, I think one of the things that is most intriguing about you is your style. So, I have to ask, how would you describe your style?
Gocha Hawkins: [laughs] I would say that I’m kind of edgy. A little bit—Jesus, I don’t know, because, most of the time, my hair is what really does all the talking. But, now, I’ve kind of toned my hair down and kind of switched it up a little bit. So, I think I would just be more edgy and trendy. You know? Fashionable.
Parlé Mag: Nice. So, let’s talk about your book, Gocha’s Blueprint to Business 101: 7 Quick Tips To Being A Boss. What made you want to venture out into the world of being an author?
Gocha Hawkins: I’ve been educating for the last fifteen years. People are always coming up to me—wanting advice, wanting me to mentor them. It just baffled me that, the things that I know, a lot of people just don’t know! I just be like, ‘Wow, really, they don’t really know’. So, I don’t know; I think the things that I know are just things that are just a given. But, I found out that that’s just not the case. I decided to write a book! Everything about me and my brand is about uplifting and making people feel good, from the inside out. I have a foundation; so, that’s all a part of that book foundation.
Parlé Mag: What was the process like, when it came to actually writing the book?
Gocha Hawkins: This process here, this business book, it took me probably about five months or so.
Parlé Mag: That’s not too long!
Gocha Hawkins: It seemed long! [laughs] It was a lot of back and forth with two of my best friends, and then another one of them. So, three of them. We were all back and forth with, ‘No, this word, right here, doesn’t go’. I came up with all of the ideas and conversation about what to have, but they kind of helped me as far as the proper way to put it in a book. They all live out of state; that was the hard part—trying to fit into their schedule and my schedule and go over the book. It was a lot of conference calls, skype, things like that.
Parlé Mag: Can fans look forward to some possible book signings in the future?
Gocha Hawkins: Oh, yeah, definitely! I’m definitely on the road to do that now. It’s my first book. So, I’m really excited, and I’m just excited to be working on another one. Hopefully, we’ll lead to plenty more!
Parlé Mag: How soon do you think you’d be working on your second book?
Gocha Hawkins: Well, I’m working on that now.
Parlé Mag: Awesome!
Gocha Hawkins: Hopefully, before the summer, I’ll have the next one out.
Parlé Mag: Okay. What are your goals for 2017? We’re a couple weeks in!
Gocha Hawkins: My goal for 2017 is to be ahead of the game and not procrastinate. Really focus on my business and taking it to the next level.
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